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Human foot not as unique as originally thought

Discussion in 'General Issues and Discussion Forum' started by NewsBot, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.


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    Press Release:
    Human foot not as unique as originally thought

    The evolution of compliance in the human lateral mid-foot.
    K. T. Bates, D. Collins, R. Savage, J. McClymont, E. Webster, T. C. Pataky, K. D'Aout, W. I. Sellers, M. R. Bennett, R. H. Crompton.
    Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2013; 280 (1769): 20131818
  2. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

  3. Admin2

    Admin2 Administrator Staff Member

  4. wdd

    wdd Well-Known Member

    At last the answer to one of those questions that just refuses to go away.

    My ongoing question was, “Where did HIV come from?”
    No maybe that’s not quite precise enough. My question is probably best stated in the form, “How did HIV get from where it came from to where it got to?”

    Of course I read about it being transferred from dead chimpanzee meat to humans. My initial reaction to that was that it was as likely as a vicar contracting venereal disease from a toilet seat.

    No, no, far more likely to my mind, somewhere along the line, a man had carnal knowledge of Bonobo!

    There you go, the truth will out. Where’s my evidence I hear you say?

    Possibly largely circumstantial but flexible human feet puts it beyond doubt. Let’s look at the facts.

    Human male sexuality is such that there is always at least one man (usually nearer one billion) who will find anything you care to mention sexually attractive, eg think shoes. Stories abound of the meaningful relationships that develop between shepherds and their sheep and even some men and their vacuum cleaners.

    The male Bonobo’s sexuality not only matches that of men but has the added characteristic that it is shared by the female Bonobos . In fact with Bonobos any excuse is a good enough reason for a little action. The word ‘Bonobo’ is apparently entering street talk meaning a ‘cure all’ of a certain type, eg ‘You’ve just lost your job, have a Bonobo that’ll make you feel better and if it doesn't make you feel better it'll certainly make me feel better’.

    Of course up to now man has been excluded from participating in a Bonobo scrum because of his stiff feet. All the action’s in the trees and here I am with my rigid feet stuck on the ground.

    So now the one thing that we can say, with certainty, about the first AIDS victim is that he had very flexible feet.

    Of course it begs the question, “Is the degree of midfoot flexibility directly related to human sexual activity and if so is qualitative or quantitative or even both?”

    Just breath slowly and deeply and everything will come back to normal.

  5. I read these "press releases" and just shake my head. Show me an ape with a medial longitudinal arch and a talar head that points toward the first metatarsal head, and then we can start talking about how the ape foot is like the human foot. In addition, since when has stiffness in the medial and/or lateral longitudinal arch of a foot been measured by footprint shapes and/or plantar pressure mats? In addition, footprint shape and plantar pressure measurement in the medial and/or lateral arches is dependent greatly on the amount of plantar soft tissue and its compliance, which may, or may not, have anything to do with medial and/or lateral longitudinal arch stiffness.

    I'm getting very tired of self-promoting researchers and journalists distorting the facts of their research just for the sake of publicity. Has the loose journalistic integrity of the internet brought this all upon us??
  6. Rob Kidd

    Rob Kidd Well-Known Member

    Where are you guys coming from? I have known Robin Crompton since he was a Post Doc in Hong Kong, about a million years ago. His lab in Liverpool has attracted more research funding than you can only dream about - and the UK government does not give out indiscriminately, just as in the US: I have refereed for both countries' funding bodies on occasions in the past. And Kevin, just as in humans, broadly, the talar head does point the first met head in all primates - vis: talar neck angle/first ray divergence correlation. The real truth, though it may not be obvious to the egos currently present, is that these guys are way out of your league. We saw the same level of bland criticism of the Dan Lieberman lab at Harvard; just who the hell do you guys think you are? When, and frankly, only when, you are in the same academic league as those attracting serious research funding from their countries' governmental bodies, will your opinion of their research be worth listening to. Rob
  7. Rob:

    Even though, according to you, none of us here on Podiatry Arena are in the "same academic league" as the people who wrote this research are, maybe you can explain how a scientist can make judgments on the stiffness of the joints of a foot, whether it be human or primate, by using a pressure analysis system and without measuring the actual movement of the foot skeleton itself?

    By the way, Rob, for your information, many of the world's best foot and lower extremity biomechanics experts do not think Dan Lieberman is an expert in biomechanics, even though he has done a lot of biomechanics research that is funded by Vibram.

    Since when does the amount of money a researcher can get from an organization for their research have anything to do with whether their research is accurate and not above criticism?
  8. Rob Kidd

    Rob Kidd Well-Known Member

    Clearly you are unfamiliar with the sharp end of research funding. Go to any university website, look at their research office web pages and you will find that money-in has been used as a proxy for research-out since time started. The argument, though it may seem tautological, is that do not get the money unless you are good. It is a bit like getting an equity card - by way of analogy - you cannot have one until you have got one.

    At staff appraisal now, we essentially get asked two questions 1)Grant money: how much? 2) publications: how many and where? This is the other side of the coin, because while all refereed publications are good, there is a huge sliding scale from eg Nature or Science at the top right down to some lesser journals. If you look at where these guys are publishing, you will find it stuff like the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, The Journal of Human Evolution, or indeed Nature or Science. Inside this scale JAPMA doesn't even rate......................
  9. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Well I did see this thread a few days ago... thought... no, don't bother with it (hence I did try). Anyway, I really couldn't be bothered spending too much time on this pseudoscience - albeit some points to consider...

    Firstly, it all depends on how one defines "unique"... in relation to feet (& within assumed ancestral evolution) - yet, just feet mind you... whether it be deemed human/hominid/primate/ape. "Unique" - rather subjective isn't it? Subjective via one's world view/agenda... per chance? Could we also say that the comparative anatomy is subjective in this case - force-fitting into evolutionary preconceptions? So much for objective/empirical science... of which Podiatry/Biomechanics is based on!

    I see "unique" feet every day... all of which are unique human feet... anything from Pes Planus to Pes Cavus with their various associated attributes (i.e. HAV, Hammer/Mallet toes, prominent styloid process/5th Met. base, medial deviated MTJ etc...). I also notice unique attributes in radiographs. Not only do I assess morphology but also biomechanics... & here too there is a vast array of uniqueness in lower limb function. However, all are human feet in my clinic - distinctly different from any ape/chimp foot in shape/form/function/performance... within any degree of one's imagination, biasness or agenda.

    Yes there are similarities (as there are with other animals) but are we to invoke an association fallacy here - guilt by association... along with confirmation bias... in a desperate attempt to support an evolutionary paradigm (within the bias narrow confines of anthropological circles mind you). Does this article’s vague claims really provide evidence (where the fossil record is alarmingly lacking after over a century of searching) - that there is ancestral evidence between humans & apes based on foot attributes being apparently not as "unique" as once thought. What we have here is just mere speculation on the assumed historical association of creatures who share similar attributes - yet evidently distinctly different in appearance & performance...

    Who'd had thought that all those years (since the "1930s") of biomechanical research from various fields of disciplines would be apparently ignored for so long by those dabbling within this field? Is it any wonder anthropologists can't grasp the difference. Following case in point...

    I presume they are primarily talking about the "lateral mid-foot" going by the title of the research paper ("The evolution of compliance in the human lateral mid-foot"). Maybe they have the "medial mid-foot" in mind also (??). Mind you, the wording is pretty vague with the use of: "mid-foot region". Either way, "lateral mid-foot" contact are not "primarily those that suffer from diabetes or arthritis" (hence maybe they're referring to medial??). I'm not sure how to interpret: "two thirds of normal healthy subjects produced some footfalls where the mid-foot touches the ground". Two thirds of which - medial, lateral, both? There is a vast difference between medial & lateral mid-foot ground contact (well, certainly in humans - of which lies a clue within this topic). Hence the relevance/context of flexion/stiffness of the mid-foot? Like I said - vague & thus irrelevant... & an attempt of force-fitting data into evolutionary preconceptions... to guarantee research funding per chance?

    Yes - "hypothesise". Are they familiar with the role of pronation within the gait cycle? Anyway, I'll be interested with their views on: "why humans can outrun a horse, for example, over long distances on irregular terrain"... something of which is vastly unique & well beyond the abilities of any ape (& the speculated missing hominid ancestor - based on the arboreal traits of fossil fragments). Something of which we have not observed the change/increase in genome material to substantiate such vast conducive/purposeful attributes (i.e. habitual arboreal/knuckle walker to habitual bipedalism).

    True. One could also say: "You can always rely on the evolutionists to spin this data into something that it was not even about."

    I was intrigued by the picture in the above article... along with its caption underneath...


    In light of my opening statements on "unique" - could anybody else pick the differences between the two subjects lying before you waiting for assessment? Without even knowing what was attached to the feet - a Podiatrist would certainly question whether they would get paid if they had the foot of the right before them (unless the subject came in with a zoo keeper).

    You shook your head too Kevin... I also am getting tired of this poor state of research & journalism integrity. There is an agenda here Dr Kirby... & unfortunately it’s controversial (hence I’ll not elaborate further).

    Hmmm... the classic "anthropological boys club" endorsement... along with customary sense of time ("a million years ago").

    Yep, another vote of support for one of the anthropological boys ("Dan Lieberman") – of which making unfounded speculations & biting off more than he can chew. BTW Rob – you forgot to call him Professor Dan Lieberman (i.e. based on your gripe with me referring to a Professor as a Dr in a previous thread) - just want to be consistent with the apparent rule of conduct on such matters.

    Yes, good point Dr Kirby. There was this thread on Pod. Arena that delved into this area... Good Scientist! You Get a Badge. Precious research money is wasted on unreal results, but we can change the culture of science.

    The public is unaware that its tax money is being squandered on funding of mediocre, frivolous science. Besides, I have heard reasons why evolutionary based ‘science’ (i.e. anthropology) receives its degree of funding (i.e. desperate search for evidence in light of the controversies). Funding should be targeted towards far more purposeful enriching science that improves the health & wellbeing of society/environment.

    Where else would anthropological research find its way in publication other than anthropological & evolution based journals... & who would make such snobbish/elitist comments other than someone with a signature such as yours Rob (i.e. Honorary Research Associate, Institute for Human Evolution, University of Witwatersrand.)

    JAPMA - is a Podiatry journal, where one naturally finds Podiatry related material in it... by those usually associated within this much smaller profession of Podiatry... hence will not qualifying as a major main stream science journal... but of course, you know that.

    Thus, I certainly see great uniqueness between the feet of humans & that of apes - in form, function & the clear performance thereof; which thus should not invoke a common ancestry claim... of which I have no doubt put my foot in it (again) for highlighting such apparent controversial opinion.

    Darn, contrary to my opening statement – I spent too much time on this.
  10. wdd

    wdd Well-Known Member

    Hi Matt,

    After reading you response above, I asked myself two questions?

    How great or small is the genetic difference between humans and chimpanzees?

    Could humans and chimpanzees interbreed?

    The answer to the first question would seem to be not a lot, although about twenty times more than the difference between human beings.

    The answer to the second question is, in many ways more interesting and would seem to be that the jury is still out.

    There are also very strong human forces trying to prevent the blossoming of 'love' between bonobos and man. I am sure that many of you will, from time to time, have noticed the cute little come hitherish smile of the female bonobo and have felt strangely tempted to open up a meaningful dialogue to explore the the things you have in common. In denying yourself you will have become acutely aware of the new love that dare not speak its name?

    No matter. After a little search around the internet I came up with HUMANZEE on wiki. It seems to overlap with my first contribution to this thread and makes interesting reading at a whole lot of different levels.

    Re-the almost identical photos of the feet of a child and chimp. I was struck by how much the photo on the right, of the child's, foot reminded me of the poem, 'Not waving but Climbing', by Stevie Smith.

  11. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Hi Bill.

    I am starting to become more accustomed to your writing style (albeit somewhat cryptic) & your sense of humour ;).


  12. wdd

    wdd Well-Known Member

  13. Can I suggest Pamela Stephenson? http://www.drpamelastephenson.com/
  14. blinda

    blinda MVP

  15. wdd

    wdd Well-Known Member

    Thanks Simon & Belinda. Brilliant sketch and there is no doubt that Pamela Stephenson was and is absolutely bonobo!

  16. wdd

    wdd Well-Known Member

    Wow Rob. I see from the light the blue touch paper and retire comment above that something hit you on the funny bone.

    However, probably because you didn't quite manage to pass it through the 'scientific method' filter before it hit the forum possibly because your 'scientist' hat slipped over your eyes just before you hit the 'submit reply' button, it would make an interesting starting point for a discussion on the meaning of the word 'peer' in 'peer review'.

    Must/should those who, one way or another, wish to criticise research be:
    qualified to the same level as the author;
    qualified in the same subject as the author;
    attracting as much research funding as the author;
    publishing in journals of equal status;
    publishing at all;
    of equal status to the author outside his own living room;
    cerebrally equal to the authors;
    using a certain style of criticism?

    What does 'peer' mean in the context of 'peer review'?

  17. Rob Kidd

    Rob Kidd Well-Known Member

    I have had a long day and you deserve a serious answer, and will get one in the morning. I have spent most of the day up to my ucksters in the brachial plexus. For the record though Bill, I make a serious note never to get personal, this might has seemed a bit close. While they might have ruffled a few podiatric feathers, I suspect that many in the world we live in have no idea just how senior these guys are. Full Professor at Harvard? Rob is full Professor at Liverpool (UK); seriously high up in very serious institutions. Do a google search of Robin Huw Crompton (he is Welsh), and read some of the stuff he writes - finite elements analysis, procrustes analysis is just the beginning. While I was in his lab about 10 years ago, the orang-utan he was Kistler force plating at the time took a dislike to the plate and ripped it up! I was proud to donate some data to them - angular data from the hominoid talus, collected in England, Africa, Hong Kong and The US. There has been a close association between the Crompton Lab and the Oxnard lab in West Australia for many years. I am from the Oxnard Lab. Professor Charles Oxnard often goes by his other name of God (well, in evolutionary biology circles!). I guess what got to me most, though I again insist it was not personal, was the notion of scientists self gratifying. Rob is in work by 5.am, and is usually there until gone 9.00 pm. I will give you a sensible answer tomorrow.

    At the risk of being shouted at, I will says this. Though my time at the University of Western Australia, which in turn sent me to other fine institutions such as Hong Kong Uni, University College London, Stony Brooke in New York, Witwatersrand in South Africa; museums like the Smith in DC, The Natural History Museum in London, I have rubbed shoulders with giants on many occasions. Be quite clear, this does not make me a giant, I am not. But is does mean that I know what they are. Rob

    Rob K
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013
  18. wdd

    wdd Well-Known Member

    Now that's a word I haven't heard for a long long time. In Scotland is used to sound more like 'oxters' but it was one of the many words that education shamed out of our vocabularly at a relatively early age. Although I might be reading too much into it I would say that the pronounciation with a initial 'u' (as in 'up') sound is more likely to be Irish?

    Look forward to your reply.

  19. She isn't in the same league
    I can see where Bill's coming from....and this will likely send him over the edge.

    A bonobo showing off its oxsters..

    Attached Files:

  20. Rob Kidd

    Rob Kidd Well-Known Member

    Actually Bill, though I had not thought about it, my gene pool is Glaswegian. Dad left when I was a wee boy. I am fascinated by how this "debate", if you can call it that, has been hijacked by Paniscus. Yes they are famous for their sexual exploits, but what had that got to do with serious university staff bagging?
  21. wdd

    wdd Well-Known Member

    Thanks mark. Nice to know that you are thinking about my welfare.

    As a general rule I don't like the eyes deliniating the top of the skull. Usually I like them to have a little higher forehead. Not so much that they become a threat of course - then again, maybe her forehead is already too high.

  22. wdd

    wdd Well-Known Member

    Some insane or at least irresistible association of ideas which is not intended to attempt to belittle the research or the researchers but hopefully stretches the mind in a different and not altogether unpleasant way.

  23. Rob Kidd

    Rob Kidd Well-Known Member

    I wonder how many reading realise that you are looking at the history of Guy Fawkes and his gun powder plot? When you get to my age, daily you ask the question: what do they teach in school these days?

    Answer Interleaved. I have to say before my comments, that there are many on this arena far more able to answer these questions; I welcome their comments, particularly if they disagree with me.

    Bill, while I am a Pod - and still registered to boot, though have not practised for over 18 months, I do have a mirror image life - university anatomy. This has led me to see the world from a perhaps wider viewpoint than some. It has also led me to have seminars, dinner even, with some seriously high up academic fellows.

    With respect, I do not think it was my scientific hat that had fallen; to look outside one's own profession is good for all, but when the results reported do not fit with your mindset doesn't mean that they are wrong. 25 years ago, I wrote a (really quite poor) paper in the UK Journal suggesting some serious flaws in Root biomechanics. WELL! you would have thought the world wobbled on its axis. Now no one of any consequence argues with what I wrote.

    But to the point, Peer review:
    Must/should those who, one way or another, wish to criticise research be:
    Anyone may criticise anything, but in order to be taken seriously, they need to have an academic basis in that field. For instance, if I do not like some research on hypertension, my writing about it will not be taken seriously unless I am an acknowledged expert on hypertension (I am not).
    Thus, While are all talking feet here, we are talking different issues of feet. By analogy, a Psychiatrist may know much about the brain, but is not well qualified to respond to a paper about neurosurgery - perhaps.

    qualified to the same level as the author;
    In science, essentially everyone has a doctorate; thus the question is meaningless. However, if you are talking clinical stuff, some have, some have not. Thus one has to look at some of the stuff below.

    qualified in the same subject as the author;
    Thus, one has to ask the question, is a clinician podiatrist able to give a meaningful response to an academic issue re: foot evolution? I mean, most, perhaps all writers on the issues of foot evolution will have a first degree in biology, and a doctorate in whatever their discipline is (palaeo, anthro, bio etc). I have no quals at all in eg podiatric surgery: I will never give a response of any kind to this sort of fora on this issue.
    Thus, so far, the concept of peer review is a little tautological - you cannot do it unless you can do it.
    This may be better put as able to comment with a depth of knowledge in that subject which is beyond question. In my area, I get asked to review fairly often, mostly about fossil feet, or sometimes extant feet. I feel able to respond to this as I am fairly well known in the area, with a (modest) publication record for the world to read. However, while still being anatomy/anthropology, if I was asked to review eg the evolution of the gleno-humeral joint, I would probably turn it down. While being on paper qualified to talk about that area, the actualities are that I am not. I know that this has a hint of tautology about it.

    attracting as much research funding as the author;
    Research funding is not relevant in this context.

    publishing in journals of equal status;

    Any bonafide researcher publishes, but has been said much before – where do they publish, that is the issue?

    publishing at all;
    Those that do not publish are not researching – they are not relevant to this question

    of equal status to the author outside his own living room;
    cerebrally equal to the authors;
    using a certain style of criticism?

    These three are spurious, not going there

    What does 'peer' mean in the context of 'peer review'?
    The whole concept of peer review is essentially tautological, though that does not make it bad. You are essentially being thrown to the lions, the lions being your own colleagues. That is, you are being judged by your peers. Be quite clear, it can be a bugger, a bastard, or any other adjective you want to use. I remember once submitting to a journal, eventually only being published nearly 2 years later. If you want some fun sometime, look at a journal article, and note the date of submission, and then the date of acceptance; the gap between the two tells you heaps about the fight that the authors had with their reviewers.

    Look guys, at the end of the day I am not knocking anything podiatric - but you seem to be knocking matters anthropological, yet, to the best of my knowledge, the only member of this forum with a doctorate in biological anthropology is me. If I am wrong, I will grovel.
  24. Rob:

    Since when is the stiffness of the midfoot in living subjects only "anthropological". In fact, this seems mostly "biomechanical", which the authors of this study seems to be exploring. Do any of these authors have a PhD in biomechanics? Since when do "anthropologists" become so all-knowing that they can't be rightly criticized by experts in other fields when these "anthropologists" start to delve into subjects that they don't completely understand? (i.e. Dan Lieberman is a good recent example of this.)

    As always, I'm not being personal.;)
  25. wdd

    wdd Well-Known Member

    I hope you are not thinking of yourself as Guy Fawkes in this context, ie being set up as a pawn in someone else's game?

    Like you I hope there are some more responses to the question- What does 'peer' mean' in 'peer review'?

    When I first read the press release and the abstract that opened this thread I was suprised that no one had responded to it before I did.

    I think that the abstract is beautifully written and in very few words gives a nuanced and clear summary of the study.

    Personally I was frustrated that I couldn't acces the original paper and after that it seemed that there was little, apart from coming out with the paragraph above, that could reasonably be said so I decided too jump side-ways.

    In absence of the original paper and appropriate qualifications etc, I will possibly be jumping side-ways again but there is something serious in it (I think).

    Now I would like to see the study repeated with a cylindrical (branch-like) pressure plate and human subjects, to give more complete view of the range of flexibility of human feet. A kind of OK I've done it your way now you do it my way.

  26. Regardless, the methodology employed does not appear to enable these scientists to measure stiffness/ compliance- end of story. I don't have a PhD in anthropology, mine is in genetics; but I don't need one in anthropology nor biomechanics here- "o-level" physics should suffice. To measure stiffness we need to measure both the load and the deformation in response to that load- I don't see any deformation measurement here. Perhaps I'm missing something?

    We all know academia is about income generated. In my time as an academic I was part of a team that put together a successful bid that resulted in funding in excess of a million pounds coming into the university where I worked, but who's bragging??? Funnily enough, the person who seemed to take the most credit for that and climbed the slippery pole the highest in response to it, did the least amount of work toward it; yet on paper "they led the bid". In reallity they did not attend the majority of meetings, did not write the documentation and sat in the background at presentation. Despite this she was exhaulted to the chancellery. A point of note, none of the rest of us involved in that bid are employed by that university anymore, nor is she. I digress. That you can generate money for a university has little to do with your right to critique papers, I should expect an undergraduate to develop the basic skills to do this successfully in research methods 101, although knowledge of statistical techniques often takes much longer. Regardless of the field of science, there are certain re-occurring gross characteristics that I should expect any scientist to pick up on within a paper, whether they have any detailed knowledge of the papers topic or not.

    Summarilly, being successful in taking credit for income generated to univeristy does not make you an expert in a field who is beyond reproach when you publish papers. Particularly when your papers begin to cross into fields in which you are by no means an expert within (despite the fact that you attracted funding for the project), as evidenced by the papers that you publish and critiqued by all and sundry. "Look at it, say what it is"- Hicks. In this case, its at best an extrapolation beyond the data and/ or poor methodological design and frankly I don't give a sh!t who wrote it; it could be chisled onto tablets of stone by God- it's still weak, in my very humble opinion, in that it discusses complaince and tiffness yet apparently did not measure this. The kids back home might call it "cack", but I am too much in reverence of any authors ability to generate money for their employer to make such judgements on this or similar papers. Of course, the great thing about peer review is that authors have the opportunity to defend their paper's. I should be more than happy to speak directly to these authors regarding their measurements of "compliance" and "stiffness" of the foot, whether I have a doctorate in anthropology or not and while were at it, we could get onto the sample size of published studies regarding the fossil record- but that's another story- for example we see papers which state things like: "we took measurements from one fossil talus"...... I digress, again.
  27. That said, since undergraduates in the UK generally bring in £27,000 over three years to their university, perhaps they should be seen to have greater right to critique published works than some of their lecturers whose net to the university is far less than this. As a collective voice, each cohort probably has far more right to a say than the majority of podiatry lecturers.;):D:dizzy:

    Another successful bid for research funding I was involved in while employed as an academic brought in tens of thousands of pounds (I can't remember the exact figure, I think it was probably less than 100K, so relatively small) was to look at elderly peoples perceptions of foot-care and chiropody services. Now, this study was qualitative and psychological/ sociological in nature. I had no background in qualitative research nor any expertise in psychological/ sociological research, yet me and a chap employed by the university (who's job it was to try to obtain research funding) wrote a bid, went off to that London and came back with the funding to carry out the study. It was the first funding this chap had obtained for the faculty after a couple of years of employment (despite this being the primary directive of his job- nice work fella), he was delighted; I was devastated. If I'd remained at the university, I should have been responsible for leading that project- yet I had no expertise in that specific field whatsoever. Yet my employers had pushed me forward for this role (despite my protestations) and basically told me this was what I was doing next. "It's not about the money, money, money"- of course not. Off topic I know, but just an honest glimpse of an insight into the world of academia that some may be unaware of... anyway, pressure plate analysis and the ability to measure foot stiffness without kinematic data in concert.... "impossible" you say; "yes I know" says I, but I am just a humble podiatrist... all we need now is someone worthy of speaking to one of the ten people it took to write this paper to tell them this fact of basic physics, someone who is one of their peers, "a doctorate anthropologist" you say... "Yes, or just a 16 year old who's recently studied GCSE physics will probably be adequate, thank you very much for asking".

    BTW, is it not already bleeding obvious that we have "a functionally tuneable, rather than obligatory stiff structure" for a foot? This paper present this like it's somehow a new idea. What do you honestly think the plantar intrinsic muscles do along with their mate the plantar fascia? Doh. Anthropologist: "But we only had one fossilised talus to look at". Me: "I'll get me trowel".
  28. The great paradox of modern-day academia. Makes you wonder if it's an agenda or just plain stupidity. Easy to see why university life ain't necessarily all it's cracked up to be..
  29. Rob Kidd

    Rob Kidd Well-Known Member

    Had you been drinking when you wrote this? it reads like you had......................
  30. Are you being personal? Would you like to withdraw your statement above or can I take it from this that you are now happy to employ personal attack in your responses? Anyway, pressure plate analysis and the ability to measure foot stiffness without kinematic data in concert... Your thoughts, Bob?
  31. Rob Kidd

    Rob Kidd Well-Known Member

    None of my responses to any of the above have been about what the Crompton lab said; they have only been about what people said about what the Crompton Lab said. That is as far as I am going on the subject. Rob
  32. wdd

    wdd Well-Known Member

    You know how you feel at the beginning of one of those interminable days with that little scalpel in your hand and that potential mound of callus ahead of you. How much worse must it feel with a trowel or heaven forbid a toothbrush in your hand and a whole desert to brush away.

  33. Rob Kidd

    Rob Kidd Well-Known Member

    Actually Bill, though I have observed people in the field on many occasions, and looked at their work with awe, I have always worked in the lab. I get to work, get coffee, get talus (to use the abusement above), and start measuring. My works goes like this: get bones, get spread sheet, number crunch, sort through data, try to understand the pile of **** the data has left on your computer, write up information, publish. Yes, that was my life until I retired. Now I am a simple jobbing teacher, currently in Adelaide. I never go to meetings, I never shuffle paper, I never do quality assurance (in the trade that is known as: same **** shinier bucket). I simply do what I am good at - teach students anatomy.
  34. W J Liggins

    W J Liggins Well-Known Member

    Personally, and as a non-academic, I salute Rob for his achievements 'outside the podiatry box'. I feel that this issue demonstrates two truisms in the world of podiatry:

    i) that we are the experts on feet generally; that we should be recognised as such, and that the fact that we are not is entirely our own fault since, (with certain notable exceptions) we have not exhibited our expertise beyond our own professional borders - I can only speak for the UK. I know that we are not alone in this, but surely there should be a bridge between the vocational and the research arms of the profession? Leiberman might then have thought it to the advantage of his study to consult experts outside his own area ie. podiatrists

    ii) once again, a valid posting (deserving constructive comment - even by non-academics) degenerates into the frivolous and becomes an issue which could be construed as 'personal'.

    I think that we do ourselves no favours.

    Bill Liggins
  35. Here is the paper we have been discussing. It is open access so everyone should be able to read it. It was a study on pressure mapping the lateral midfoot, not a study on "midfoot compliance". The actual midfoot kinematics of the non-human subjects was not measured, it was "inferred"...whatever that means. Don't ask me how these researchers thought they could measure lateral midfoot pressures in humans and apes and assume this represented only the sagittal plane stiffness of the lateral midfoot joints. One does not have to have a PhD in biomechanics to know how wrong that is.

    However, since I am only a lowly podiatrist, and not an anthropology PhD, then I probably shouldn't be criticizing these great authorities and their research. These notable researchers have obviously acquired much more research funding in their lifetimes than I will ever acquire so, according to some, I am obviously not in the "same academic league" and don't have the right to critique their research. What was I thinking?!

    Silly me. I thought that academia was about who had the best scientific evidence and best intellectual argument, and was not about who had made the most research money during their lifetimes....
  36. Could be worse, you could have been accussed of being drunk :bash:

    Unfortunately, academia is a business.
  37. wdd

    wdd Well-Known Member

    That we are the experts on feet generally; that we should be recognized as such, and that the fact that we are not is entirely our own fault since (with certain notable exceptions) we have not exhibited our expertise beyond our own professional borders

    I think that you are being a little harsh on members of the profession in placing the blame entirely upon their shoulders.
    There are a number of very significant factors which have and almost certainly always will remain outside their control.
    The first and possibly the most significant one is the fact that the foot carries such a negative symbolic load. Just think of the immediate response of the majority of people when you tell them that you work with feet. Think of the idea of the foot being put on the neck of someone as a sign of domination or the significance of sitting at someone’s feet or of washing someone’s feet as a sign of humility.
    Nail cuttings and callus parrings carry about the same symbolic load as faecal matter. The symbolic value of feet is never going to change much and it will always work against the status of those involved with feet. As the foot is the lowest part of the body and is therefore associated with dirt, those associated with it can never be on par with those working with other more glamerous areas. Add on the association with disease, ugliness and age and you understand one of the incentives pushing those involved with feet to search for salvation in more ‘sexy’, heroic, higher status areas such as sports podiatry, biomechanics and surgery. Even moving into academia is, in part, an attempt to move away from direct contact with the foot.
    For comprehensive coverage of this subject read Alan Borthwick’s PhD thesis.

    Secondly, in the UK at least, the evolution of the disparate groups of ‘foot workers’ has still not brought them union or the social recognition of professional closure and it seems to me that this is about as far away as ever.

    Thirdly historically their places of training were remote from those of other medically related professionals and they had little association with students in other medically related professions and although the situation is improving podiatry will know it has arrived when there are undergraduate courses in podiatry at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.

    -I can only speak for the UK.

    No. You can speak of the UK but not for it.

    Leiberman might then have thought it to the advantage of his study to consult experts outside his own area, ie podiatrists.

    Leiberman might have thought it advantageous to consult expert podiatrists if he had met them in the corridors, class rooms and bars of his university when he and they were undergraduates together or even in his university as researchers, teachers or Doctorate students. Now it's an uphill battle.

  38. wdd

    wdd Well-Known Member

    Could be worse, you could have been accused of being drunk.

    As my father would have said, "He is not drunk who from the floor can raise his head to ask for more" and being able to type a reply beats raising your head by a factor of ten at least, so in my book you were not drunk.

  39. Yes, Simon, but you know....it's never personal....:rolleyes:
  40. W J Liggins

    W J Liggins Well-Known Member

    At risk of making a bad situation worse.....

    Leiberman et al clearly have not considered the 'negative symbolic load' of the foot' in the paper referred to, neither do other researchers. So, sorry, the fault does lie with us. If the schools (in the UK) are external to medical schools and higher universities then that is the fault of past generations of pod educators and that was entirely within their control.

    I feel that I can 'speak for the UK' since I have been involved in the situation in the UK for the past 30 plus years. However, if you do want to argue semantics with me then may I gently suggest that you first pay attention to your spelling: 'recognize', 'parrings', 'glamerous'.

    All the best

    Bill Liggins

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